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Tuesday 16 October 2018

Man charged over fatal one-punch attack 'had drunk 20 shots of rum'

Apprentice carpenter Jack Hall Ellis leaves Dublin District Court after being bailed
Apprentice carpenter Jack Hall Ellis leaves Dublin District Court after being bailed

An apprentice carpenter has been charged with seriously assaulting a student who died from injuries he suffered in a "one-punch" attack on Halloween night.

Jack Hall Ellis (20) drank 20 measures of Captain Morgan rum before allegedly attacking 20-year-old Luke O'Reilly in the early hours of November 1, a court heard yesterday.

During a bail hearing Dublin District Court was told that Mr O'Reilly was struck once on the side of the head as he walked home with friends from Halloween celebrations, "didn't know what was coming" and fell to the ground where he hit his head.

He died in hospital from his injuries earlier this week.

Mr Hall Ellis had drunk 20 measures of Captain Morgan rum on the night before he allegedly assaulted Mr O'Reilly, the court was told.

Concrete

Judge Anthony Halpin granted him bail after hearing that gardai expect to bring a further, more serious charge.

Mr Hall Ellis, of Old Court Mill, Tallaght, is charged with assault causing harm to Mr O'Reilly (20) in Old Blessington Road, Tallaght, in the early hours of November 1.

Garda David Morris said he arrested the defendant at Tallaght Garda Station at 5.45pm on Tuesday.

Mr Hall Ellis made no reply to the charge after being cautioned at 6.04pm, he said.

He was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Gda Morris said he was objecting to bail, citing the nature, degree and seriousness of the charge, which carries a potential five-year prison term on conviction.

Outlining the allegations, he said a serious assault happened at 2.45am on November 1.

Mr O'Reilly, from Kiltipper, had just left the Metro pub in Tallaght after he had been out socialising with friends on Halloween night.

They were walking down the road when a man approached Mr O'Reilly from behind and proceeded to punch him to the side of the head.

The student "didn't know what was coming", Gda Morris added. The punch caused him to fall on to the concrete footpath where he hit his head on the ground.

Mr O'Reilly was attended to by his friends straight away and the attacker left the scene.

Mr O'Reilly's friends called an ambulance and he was taken to Tallaght Hospital.

It was decided that his injuries were more severe than first thought and he was transferred to Beaumont Hospital, where he was treated in the intensive care unit before he died as a result of his injuries on Monday, Gda Morris said.

The officer arrested the accused as a suspect and he was detained and interviewed.

Mr Hall Ellis "fully admitted" assaulting Mr O'Reilly, Gda Morris told Judge Halpin.

He said an extensive file was being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions, more medical evidence was awaited and the gardai expected a further, more serious charge to be brought in the near future.

Gda Morris said it was alleged that Mr Hall Ellis was "caught red-handed", witness statements had been taken and there was CCTV evidence.

Defence solicitor Padraig O'Donovan said gardai had been contacted by his office and a solicitor accompanied the accused to the station.

Mr Hall Ellis presented himself at the station "without them having to go looking for him", he added.

Gda Morris agreed with Mr O'Donovan that the accused said he went out only rarely but had "a good bit to drink that night" - 10 double shots of Captain Morgan.

Mr O'Donovan said what happened was "unfortunate for both families", who were in court, and "very tragic" for Mr O'Reilly's family.

Sober

Gda Morris agreed with him that it was "one punch".

Judge Halpin granted bail in the defendant's own cash bond on €1,000, subject to conditions.

Those are that he lives at his uncle's address in Ratoath, Co Meath, is of sober habits, observes a nightly curfew and does not interfere with any witnesses.

The court granted free legal aid after the accused's solicitor made an application and handed in a statement of his financial means.

"The facts in this case are tragic, there is no doubt about that," the judge said.

He said he would adjourn the case to January.

The defendant, wearing a grey jacket and jeans, did not address the court during the hearing and has not yet indicated how he intends to plead.

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